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Big Developments

New investments keep jobs growing, visitors coming

Concept illustration of new terminal at Louis Armstrong International Airport

The $800 million terminal under construction at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport looks to become a boon to Louisiana business while solidifying the state’s brand. As the new 30-gate terminal progresses, several airlines have announced new international service, including flights to London, Frankfurt and Panama.


Meanwhile, the airport has committed to giving visitors an authentic taste of
Louisiana. Announcements of food concessions to be available at the airport include the cuisine of chefs Susan Spicer, Emeril Lagasse,John Besh, John Folse and such popular New Orleans restaurants as MoPho, Lucky Dogs, Ye Olde College Inn and the Munch Factory.

Here are highlights of a few other business developments around the state.


BATON ROUGE

Startups get a leg up

Three new tenants have signed on at the Louisiana Business & Technology Center, a business incubator run by Louisiana State University. The fledgling businesses will receive mentoring and technical assistance in their respective fields. The companies are Louisiana Multi-Functional Materials Group, developer of a “smart” polymer sealant; Cognosante, a provider of software technology solutions to health care clients; and Lubricity Labs, which uses proteins and polymer chemistry to strengthen human hair.


BELLE CHASSE

Company injects billions into thriving industry

At least 250 new jobs in Plaquemines Parish will result from a huge corporate investment in natural gas exporting. Venture Global LNG plans to spend more than $8 billion developing a natural gas liquefaction plant and exporting terminal along the Mississippi River. If approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, construction will begin in 2018. Venture Global has another LNG plant under way in Calcasieu Parish, and it is slated to open in 2020.


SHREVEPORT

Plant re-use revives business

A $1 million investment has created an automobile distribution center and will bring 150 jobs to  a former General Motors plant in Shreveport. Glovis America, which ships finished products for the makers of Kia and Hyundai automobiles, announced its lease on the 125,000-square-foot space in January and has begun moving imported vehicles through the center. Employees outfit the cars with added equipment and exterior upgrades, then send the vehicles on to dealers around the country. Company President Glenn Clift predicts the center will handle more than 75,000 new vehicles annually.


NEW IBERIA

Drug researchers target Cajun Country

A $1 million expansion by California-based pharmaceutical company Crown Bioscience Inc. will put a new research and development facility in south Louisiana. Aimed at developing new treatments for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, the CrownBio project will operate in conjunction with the New Iberia Research Center, an affiliate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, which manages nonhuman primates for applied and basic research. Company officials say the project will produce 10 local jobs.


NEW ORLEANS

French shipper likes New Orleans

New container-cargo service arrived at the Napoleon Avenue Terminal in New Orleans in January when French shipping company CMA CGM brought one of its vessels into port. The world’s third-largest container carrier in December announced the new direct weekly service, which will allow faster container shipments to and from China, South Korea and Singapore. “We look forward to continued growth in the region,” company President Marc Bourdon said. Port officials say the service adds capacity at a time when exports of polyethylene resins, key raw materials for plastics production, are poised to surge.


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